Who doesn’t love an ag show? We do. For us it’s a chance to get out of the office and have a good chinwag with people in the industry.
For hard working farmers, it’s an opportunity to take a well-earned day away from the farm, meet up with friends old and new and find out about the latest developments in the sector.
For ag businesses, it’s an opportunity to talk directly to your customers and to pitch your products and services to a receptive ear in a relaxed environment.
But, with the winter show season almost upon us, how do agribusinesses make the best of the events they attend? In this blog, we look at pre-show communications and how you can spread the word about where you’re exhibiting.
Exhibiting at a show is a great way to get in front of a qualified audience. But in and of itself it is not particularly newsworthy. Ever seen the newspaper headline ‘Business Attends Show’? No, neither have we.
So, putting out a press release to this effect is doomed to fail. Unless you’re intending to do something newsworthy at the show such as launch a new product, reveal some insightful industry data, or give away something big and valuable.
The moral of this story is, if you want to attract attention, do more than just exhibit.
Don’t forget to tell your existing customers about the show, your stand number, and what you’ll be doing on the day, to tempt them in. This will give you a chance to touch base with them, upsell your other products, and is likely to give you a steady stream of people to your stand over the day, which will have the effect of pulling other, non-customers in.
In the lead up to a show, you should use all your channels to promote the fact you’ll be there, and blogging is a great way to do this. Write a news piece for your website detailing where you’ll be, which stand, and what you’ll be doing. Also, include details of anything on the stand that is fun and engaging, so people know what to expect when they visit.
Blogging is great for your website, but you might want to use different types of content for different channels. Video is a fantastic format to get your messages across and is incredibly quick and easy to make with a mobile phone. It doesn’t have to be perfect or polished, in fact, authentic and fun are general more engaging.
A pretty obvious point but announce you’re attending the show on your social media. Do it often on the run up to the show because most of your followers don’t see most of your posts. And if the show has its own social media channels, tag them in, there’s a good chance they’ll share you posts. Same goes for event hashtags. Use them if they’re available as they could lead to greater engagement.
Nowadays, people put lots of different things in their email signature, from award wins to accreditations to industry bodies. And if you’re like us, you’ll send dozens of emails each day. So, considering putting the event you’re attending here, and over the course of a few weeks, a lot of people will get to know.
Your website should be your ultimate shop window. And how people find it will influence which page they land on first. So, have a banner on every page as this will ensure all your web visits will learn about your show attendance.
If your brand works with any influencers, ask them to share that fact you’ll be at the show on their social channels. That will help the news spread far and wide.
If there are any specific customers you really want to meet, send them an personal invitation to visit your stand. Offer them hospitality and a place to sit away from the crowds in exchange for a 15 or 30 minute meeting. Shows tend to put people in a receptive mood, so you never know what might result from such an invitation.
A lot of events have their own media partners and they will be looking for news to report from the event. So, if you’ve taken notice of point one, you’ll have something exciting to tell them. Get in touch and tell them of your plans to launch a new product, release your insightful data, or whatever it is you plan to do. It is probably worth drafting a press release about it which you might want to send them under embargo because they will be very busy on the day and having all the background information to hand will be helpful.
If they do come down to speak to you, make sure someone is available and they’re not waiting for an interviewee to finish another conversation, as they’re not likely to stick around with so many other businesses to talk to.
So, there you go, our checklist for pre-show comms success. We hope they’re useful. If you want further advice on making the most of an ag show, or any other aspect of your marketing strategy, get in touch.